By Jonathan Easton
CuriosityStream has announced a merger with special purpose acquisition company Software Acquisition Group which will see the documentary streaming firm become a public company.
Created by Discovery founder John Hendricks in 2015, CuriosityStream currently serves over 13 million paying subscribers in over 175 countries and territories. Its library of on demand content currently contains over 3,100 titles including over 900 exclusive originals such as Light on Earth hosted by David Attenborough.
The streamer is available from US$2.99 per month and has bundled distribution deals with pay TV operators such as Altice USA, Sky New Zealand, Liberty Global’s Flow TV in the Caribbean, and Com Hem in Sweden.
Hendricks will remain chairman and the company’s largest shareholder, with president and CEO Clint Stinchcomb leading an unchanged executive board.
The transaction will see the combined company well capitalised with zero debt and an estimated US$180 million of cash on the balance sheet.
The acquisition will be carried out by a newly formed wholly-owned subsidiary of Software Acquisition Group through a reverse merger at an enterprise value of approximately US$331 million and equity value of approximately US$512 million. CuriosityStream’s existing shareholders will receive approximately 63 per cent of the issued and outstanding shares of common stock of Software Acquisition Group while the founders of Software Acquisition Group will retain approximately 3 per cent founder shares.
Of the merger, Hendricks said: “CuriosityStream has the unique advantage of being a ‘pure-play’ streaming media service that is not burdened with legacy linear TV assets in cable and broadcasting. Our consumer promise of offering premium factual content on demand in the new era of streaming has been enthusiastically embraced by curious viewers worldwide. We are excited to now have access to the public capital markets to support our growth plans and to over-deliver on our mission to provide content that informs, enchants and inspires.”
Chairman and CEO of Software Acquisition Group, Jonathan Huberman said: “We are proud to combine with CuriosityStream. CuriosityStream is the clear leader in the high growth factual media streaming market. We look forward to working with such a strong management team led by industry legend John Hendricks and his business partner of many years, Clint Stinchcomb, as they continue to drive CuriosityStream adoption across global markets. I am confident our investors will share my total respect for their vision and leadership.”
Stinchcomb concluded: “I take great delight in working with John Hendricks. And through the combination of his vision and our veteran-led operating team, we are already generating significant revenue growth. We have built a compelling and elegant global factual streaming service for consumers and that is only one part of the story. Unlike nearly every other streaming service that is largely reliant on a single revenue stream, subscription or advertising, we are building five robust, interrelated but distinct business lines. This influx of capital from the sponsors and the Software Acquisition Group team will only accelerate our march to becoming the world’s pure factual solution for consumers, distributors, brands, associations and media partners.”